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Aji Amarillo Hot Sauce (from Peruvian Chile Peppers) – Recipe

I was unfamiliar with Aji Amarillo chile peppers, but when I saw these beautiful specimens from Terra Dolce at our co-cop, I was entranced and knew immediately they would be coming home with me. Searching the web, I learned that they are one of the most important ingredients in Peruvian cuisine. The fresh pepper is …

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Red Curry Fried Rice with Seared Pineapple – Recipe


So let's say you made this red curry squash, and had lots of leftover red curry paste. One of the most delicious ways to use it up is in a quick fried rice. Chunks of seared pineapple provide just a bit of sweet counterbalance to the spice. 

A few quick bits of housekeeping: this will …

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Vietnamese Green Mango Salad – Recipe


Green mango (or papaya) salad is addictive. It hits all those sweet, tangy and fresh notes that wake up your palate at the beginning of a meal, or refresh it after a bite of spicy curry. My wife and I have been known to narrow down our selection of Vietnamese restaurants purely based on …

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My Cast Iron Skillet

This is my skillet. Sure, I have lots of others pots – small saute pans, sauciers, stock pots, paella pans, a beloved Dutch oven, griddles, you name it. But this big cast-iron skillet is the absolute workhorse in my kitchen. I’ve had it for at least 20 years, and I’d say it has been the …

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Bocoles (Masa and Black Bean Cakes) with Spicy Yams – Recipe


Bocoloes are little pan-fried cake of masa and mashed black beans, typically served as an (appetizer). I learned about them from Diana Kennedy's magnificient My Mexico and thought that I could replace the pork filling with yams, increase the portion, and make an unusual and delicious vegetarian entree.

The cakes came out great; they …

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Lentil and Cucumber Salad – Perfect for Potlucks – Recipe

Lentil and Cucumber Salad

This salad is great to have in your back pocket for summer potlucks and picnics  (*). It is easy to make, light and healthy and packed with flavor that adults will love, but manageable for kids too.

In this kind of salad, cucumbers tend to leak a lot of juice, dilute the dessing, and make a …

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Jicama, Orange and Radish Salad – Recipe


When I serve a filling entree, I like to have a refreshing salad. It offers a nice contrast, makes the meal a little lighter, and cuts the fattiness of the main dish. Here is a simple version, dressed only with fresh orange jucie, that goes great with Mexican and other Latin-American meals. You can work …

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